Times and Sorensens

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Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Capturing the mood of the day

Today during the late morning time, I suddenly decided that I wanted to listen to a few Boingo songs. I'm not sure why, but I went ahead and cued them up and played them while the boys colored contentedly and I prepared lunch. As we listened I realized that the music was reflecting perfectly my experience of the morning. Nothing was said for a while (very unusual for our household) and we just let the music capture the mood. I know Joshua was feeling it too because when the playlist ended he marched over to the computer and restarted itunes all by himself. Not that it's difficult to do, but I just didn't know that he knew how to do it! And then he did it again a third time and I heard him say something about how these were his "favorite songs."

For those interested, the songs were:
Is This
Out of Control
We Close Our Eyes

I could listen to Danny Elfman's voice all day. It soars and is somehow exhilarating and soothing at the same time. For those who are familiar with these songs, please don't think that I'm depressed or anything based on "Out of Control" being one of the selections :). I just have always appreciated this song for its exploration of the human experience. In fact, I used it one time in grad school when we were asked to bring a song to a seminar that we felt somehow embodied social work and the experience of our clients.

Anyway, I feel kind of like a teen-ager for doing a post like this, since that was probably the last time that I let "pop" music (or whatever you'd like to categorize Boingo as) influence me quite like this. But hey, I guess it's just the mood of the day.

Oh--If I could only make time stand still for a moment
Capture a memory--and live it one more time

(-"Is This" from Dark at the End of the Tunnel by Oingo Boingo

Friday, July 27, 2007

"They say our blog..."

"They say our blog doesn't amount to a hill of beans. But this is our hill. And these are our beans!"

-Lt. Frank Drebin, The Naked Gun (slightly adapted)

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Jake's surprise

For the last couple of weeks, Jake has had a surprise planned for today. My patience was rewarded this morning when I finally found out what it was -- going out to breakfast! This is definitely on my list of favorite things to do as I love breakfast foods and it's just nice to be out early in the morning when I would normally still be trying to get on top of the day at home. We had planned on going out to breakfast for my birthday way back in March, but things were just way too crazy with our move coming up two days later. Jake decided that he wanted to make it up to me which was so sweet! We all had a great time and the boys were extremely well-behaved. They even ate the breakfast that we ordered for them! It was a miracle!

Some of the boys' great behavior can probably be attributed to the fact that we went to a pretty fun place. It's a 50's style cafe called Ruby's with an emphasis on vehicular memorabilia. There was a large model airplane with spinning propellers attached to the ceiling above our heads, and then a train track with model engines circling around and around that (you can see part of the track above our heads in this picture). Also, the kids' menus were great -- cutouts that you could fold into a '58 Ford Edsel Pacer -- sticker detailing and everything. The boys have been playing with their cars all day and have requested to go back numerous times. Thank you Jake for a fun surprise and a great start to the day!

P.S. The food was fabulous--they have really great breakfasts!

Friday, July 20, 2007

Joshua makes his own book

Today for his story time, Joshua decided that he wanted to make his own book and read it instead of choosing one from the shelf. I thought this was a great idea and it sounded like a lot of fun. I assembled a little book and then Joshua drew the pictures and dictated what he wanted written on the pages. He knew specifically what he wanted his book to be; his own version of Shel Silverstein's The Giving Tree. There are several ways he made it his own. For one, he was very sure that he wanted his version to be shorter than the original. Also, a hand, rather than a little boy, is the main character that interacts with the tree. It is the hand that picks the tree's apples, swings from its branches, etc. And finally, the tree turns out to be named Joshua -- a little plot twist at the end and everything! And perhaps a deeper meaning...? Anyway, it was so much fun to do this with Joshua. I have fond memories of doing this very thing with my own mother when I was about Joshua's age. She made all kinds of books for me, sometimes with my help, or sometimes on her own, but specifically made for me. She would use me as the main character, put things in the story that she knew I would like, etc. I'm pretty sure she did this for each of us kids as we were learning to read. I loved it as a child and I hope to be able to do the same for my own children. What a warm and fuzzy afternoon this has been!

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Every once in a while Joshua does something ..

that makes me say, "That's why we have more than one kid." It's something that makes our life easier than if we only had one kid, and it happens little enough that we notice when it does. A few weeks ago at the park, we ate some of our picnic food while Daniel waited to be pushed in the swing. Joshua decided he would push Daniel, and for a little stretch of time they occupied each other. Leslie remarked how nice it was, and I said, "Now THAT is why we have more than one kid."

Joshua impressed us a few days ago when he woke us up in the morning having already gotten dressed all by himself without being told. This morning Joshua and Daniel wanted to go to the park, and Leslie told them she needed to get dressed and get Daniel dressed first. "I'll get Daniel dressed!" volunteered Joshua.

The next time Leslie saw them, Joshua had gotten Daniel completely dressed, with shirt on frontwards and everything. Joshua was very impressed with himself, and we were too! When Leslie told me about this, it was another of those moments: "That's why we have more than one kid."

Saturday, July 14, 2007

For He's a Jolly Good Fellow...

We had another birthday to celebrate in the Sorensen household this past week. Jake hit the big 3-0 and I taught the boys the above-mentioned song for the occasion.

We of course enjoyed a traditional birthday strudel. For those who may not know, Jake strongly dislikes frosting and chooses strudel as an alternate to birthday cake. As you can see it makes him deliriously happy:

It was a wonderful day to celebrate Jake and the phenomenal husband and father that he is. When I asked him what he plans to do now that he's 30, he said that he plans to vigorously defend his title as San Diego's Most Eligible Non-Bachelor.

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

"I'm playing backsitball, I'm two!"

Daniel's birthdays have seemed to be more festive than most, possibly because it's also a national holiday. We have lots of fun!

Daniel is old enough now to be interested in opening presents:

He's very excited about all the stuff that he got! Joshua loves to share the new toys; what else are brothers for? He especially likes the construct-your-own marble run:

Daniel, who let us know a while ago that he wanted a basketball hoop and a pinata for his birthday, has a blast shooting baskets:

After lunch and a nap, Daniel was ready for more action, so we went outside to beat up the pinata:

We were glad our neighbors could join us, and the kids all got to whack the pinata as much as they wanted to. Fortunately it lasted a while, because they lost interest as soon as the candy fell out:

Silly me -- I thought the point was to have fun hitting the pinata.

Later on, we made our second attempt at making ice cream on a birthday. The boys picked up the ice I chipped off and added it to the bucket:

We were so relieved our creamy rocky road turned out! Last year on Joshua's birthday we tried cookies and cream with crushed Oreos, and after the ice cream maker had been churning for over and hour we figured something was wrong. We discovered that the mixture hadn't gotten any firmer than when we started, so we scrapped it and admitted defeat. Hooray for our victory this year! Hooray for an excessive amount of rock salt!

After the ice cream got going, we gave the boys cupcakes to decorate:

They're easier to manage than a whole cake, plus the boys love decorating them. Joshua was quite proud of his "clown hat":

Finally, we put two candles in Daniel's cupcake and sang happy birthday to him. Then it was time for him to make a wish before blowing out the candles:

Joshua was happy to tell Daniel what he should wish for, but Daniel insisted he knew what he wanted: a cupcake. One of the two got their wish, and the other one -- well, it wasn't his birthday anyway.